When the NBA schedule came out in August, I knew that I needed to get to Orlando, Florida to see a Magic game since their new arena, the Amway Center was opening in October.
With that being said, Royalty went to work. I pulled up the Magic schedule to see what games fit my busy schedule.
I wasn't too happy when I got done looking because the Magic play a lot of home games on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays. I needed to see a game preferably on a Saturday. In addition, I was hoping to add a football game to the mix.
After further review, the only option was Saturday, December 18th. I already knew the Buccaneers were home that Sunday at 1PM against the Detroit Lions. I said to myself that's perfect well almost. Back in June, I bought a few tickets for the Jets in Pittsburgh.
As a result, I had to sell off the Steeler tickets so I could make the getaway to warmer climate.
Now for the recap of how it played out.
Saturday morning the King and I flew to Tampa via Atlanta on Air Tran Airways. We arrived in Tampa just before 2PM. I proceeded to rent a car from Alamo for the weekend.
We drove 90 miles to Orlando and we got there around 4PM which gave us plenty of time for the 7PM game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
We wound up parking by a meter in downtown Orlando for $2.00. The surrounding parking lots were charging $5, $7 & $10 to park for the event. Free parking wasn't a realistic option.
The new Magic Kingdom, aka the Amway Center, is conveniently located in downtown by the Church Street Station District.
Once we parked the car we got out and walked around the area. There were a number of restaurants and bars which makes for a festive pre game experience.
Royalty took full advantage of the opportunity. We looked around and we decided to go to Hamburger Mary's Bar & Grille where you Eat, Drink and be "Mary".
I was very hungry so I decided to indulge in getting a full pound of angus beef that was covered with cheddar cheese and bacon and lettuce. Needless to say, it was huge. All their other burgers are a half pound.
I did finish the burger which filled me up and then some.
While we were eating we found out that the Magic made a few big trades to shake up the team. As a result, they were only able to dress 8 players.
After we ate, we made our way over to the arena so we could check it out.
It was NBA arena number 57 for me. More importantly, the King and I now have every current NBA court once again.
As for the arena, it was massive compared to the old "O-Arena" as it was referred to TV commentators.
In my opinion, it was a nice place to see a game especially if you have a corporate connection.
Royalty is always happy to be in the building that's all that matters to us.
I did like the spacious concourses on both levels of the building. On the lower level, they had a timeline of the Orlando Magic since their existence in 1989.
As for the game, the shorthanded Magic came up short and they lost to the 76ers 97-89.
Lou Williams led the way for the Sixers as he scored 24 points. Andre Iguodala added 21 while Elton Brand had 20 points to go along with 13 rebounds.
For the depleted Magic, Superman Dwight Howard finished with 26 points and he pulled down 20 boards but he's lousy free throw shooting hurt him and his team. As a result, they lost.
Jameer Nelson, who played at St. Joseph's in Philadelphia added 17 points and dished out 9 assists in the losing effort.
After the game, we drove 140 miles to Port Charlotte where the King's brother Henry lives.
I want to personally thank Henry for rolling out the carpet to accomodate us for the night.
In the morning we went to have breakfast together. Afterwards, the King and I drove another 100 miles to Tampa to see the Buccaneers take on the Detroit Lions at 1PM. Thankfully the Lions are so bad that this game didn't get flexed.
The Buccaneers are making a push for a playoff spot and their games lately have been changed. Lucky for this wasn't one of them.
We arrived in the area around 11:30AM. I proceeded to go to a nearby shopping mall to park for free.
The last time we were at Raymond James Stadium we saw the Giants beat the Buccaneers which was their first step in winning the Super Bowl. That's where we parked then so I knew exactly where to go.
As for the game, we wound up seeing history. The Detroit Lions came in losing 26 straight road games but on this day that streak finally ended.
The Lions needed overtime but they finally won, 23-20.
Dave Raymer kicked a 34 yard field goal on the first possession of the extra session with 9:51 left to get the Lions the victory.
Wide receiver Calvin Johnson was a beast as he caught 10 balls for 152 yards. More importantly, he made many of them on third down and long to sustain drives for the Lions including one on the winning drive in overtime.
Running back Maurice Morris, a former Oregon Duck ran for 109 yards on 15 carries.
For the Buccaneers, their rookie running back, LeGarrette Blount also a former Oregon Duck had 110 yards on the ground which included a 39 yard touchdown run.
After the game, the King and I caught our 6:40PM flight at the Tampa Airport which is located a few miles from the Stadium.
Another great weekend getaway is in the books.
Thank you for reading and following along.